Colin Gleadell looks beneath the record-setting lots in London’s Impressionist and Modern sales in the Telegraph and discovers some interesting stats about the 530 lots on offer. He also points out that the Rodin Kiss that increased seven-fold in value in five years had been well-restored, a reminder that prices can never be separated from the objects themselves:
Although less than a handful made record prices, over 80 per cent found buyers. The total for the week, including the lower-value day sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, was £259 million – £100 million more than the anticipated minimum. That’s double the total of this time last year, and not far short of February 2008, when the boom was still in progress. Amazingly, the average price has risen from £405,000 then to £542,000 now. […]
Suggestions that this is just a masterpiece market, however, where lower-value works are left to flounder, were confounded by the day sales in which 85 per cent of the paintings and works on paper in the £10,000-to-£250,000 range found buyers. Works by Picasso, van Dongen, Marc Chagall and Raoul Dufy consistently outperformed estimates.
Art Sales: Big and Flashy Sells Best at Sotheby’s and Christie’s (Telegraph)